“Download the entire concert for free at Archive.org”:http://www.archive.org/details/Ying_Yang_Twins_WM
The final UCAB concert of the semester brought varying levels of entertainment and twinges of disappointment to campus. Bringing much hype and an even larger crowd, the end result was anything but enjoyable. The Syndicate, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, and the Ying Yang Twins as the main event made for an unlikely combination but, nevertheless, all performed on stage Saturday night.
Starting 10 minutes earlier than the advertised time, The Syndicate, a student-run hip-hop dance group, took the stage for their performance. Dancing to “Bamboo Banga” by M.I.A., their short set was surprisingly mediocre. The one high point was Nijimaru Ohno ’10 who took center the stage for a rave-style solo with yellow glow sticks.
Indie folk-rockers Thao with the Get Down Stay Down was next on stage, bringing bright, playful melodies and bashful lyrics to the amphitheatre. Including two College graduates, singer Thao Nyugen ’06 and drummer Will Thompson ’06, and the remaining band members lead guitarist Frank Stewart and bassist Adam Thompson, the band created a unique, folksy sound with an espresso blend to match the typical coffeehouse atmosphere.
When the band appeared on stage, Thao asked the small crowd,
“Is everyone at Lodge 1?” A few audience members laughed as Thao thanked the audience and opened the set with a track from the band’s second-released album “We Brave Bee Stings and All.” With harmonious clapping and acoustic guitar solos, the endearing but dark songs fit Thao’s earthy, raspy voice.
Recalling her memories at the amphitheatre, sans renovations, she asked the crowd, “Remember when there were pentagrams up there?”
Thao, sporting a dress with torn stockings and cowboy boots, continued to play tracks from the album, from mid-tempo bopper “Bag of Hammers” to the softer track “Feet Asleep,” with its bluegrass feel.
The band played the 40-minute set, laughing and talking to each other. They even dedicated a song to Gene Nichol, creating an intimate setting.
With a few sound difficulties and a bag of tricks from Thao, which included beat-boxing and strumming her guitar with a toothbrush, their set finished with the song, “Fear and Convenience,” a catchy, fresh pleaser that had the crowd clapping along.
Before Ying Yang Twins hit the stage, The Syndicate returned to deliver two final dances, “The Man Dance,” and “Apolo-Bounce.” Beginning with “The Man Dance,” a group of five guys entered the stage with oversized white shirts and black Adidas pants, dragging a flattened cardboard box to the side.
These Jabbawockeez-potentials (America’s Best Dance Crew) danced to Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” switching up hip-hop street dances, from pop-locking and break-dancing to solo moves.
The second time around, The Syndicate brought more energy that the crowd savored, as the second group performed, “Apolo-Bounce,” a mix between One Republic’s haunting track, “Apologize,” and Timbaland’s panty anthem, “Bounce.”
Close to 9 p.m. came the Ying Yang Twins and a fiery crowd, ready to get crunk at the amphitheatre. As the stage was set with DJ Scientist spinning the turntables, the smoke machine churned, covering the crowd as the lights flickered on and off.
“Say Ying Yang, Ying Yang,” the duo yelled as they walked on stage. The frenzied crowd responded with screams as they broke out into one of their early hits, “Whistle While You Twurk.”
Wearing plaid shirts and jeans and, surprisingly, sporting no grills, the Atlanta-based rappers, Kaine and D-Roc, danced across the stage as the audience flashed cameras and cell-phones, going berserk to “Get Low.”
“You know, a long time ago, people didn’t think we would be here,” Kaine said.
These strip club connoisseurs are known for their heavy, dirty South beats with stuttering, amateur lyrics and bird-squawking calls. With many hooks that cover limited topics of ass-shaking, ass-shaking and more ass-shaking, one cannot berate them for having a successful formula that results in platinum records.
That does not mean they can’t make fools of themselves. Throughout their performance, the two would burst into dances, copying moves from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Bad.”
The only memorable part of their performance was handing the stage to the DJ, as he quickly took over with tricky scratching techniques using different body parts and beat-mixing, controlling the energy of the crowd.
“Did ya’ll see the DJ bend the record?” Kaine asked the crowd.
“Ya’ll want to see him get crunker than that?”
With fits of song mixes, the Ying Yang Twins came to deliver what they wanted, bringing songs that were once hot in clubs, like “Shake” featuring Pitbull and “The Whisper Song.”
Throwing sweaty towels into the crowd and slapping the hands of fans, the Ying Yang Twins introduced their new single, “Drop,” off their upcoming eighth album, “Ying Yang for President” (stolen from Wyclef Jean?).
By the end of their set, the duo split up as Kaine left the stage for D-Roc to introduce “Ying Yang Radio.” More of a filler for songs that they didn’t have, the DJ spun new tracks of other artists that D-Roc sang along to, from “Touch My Body,” by Mariah Carey to “Bottle Poppin’” by Yung Joc. The finale ended with D-Roc bringing members of the audience on stage to participate in a dance competition, ranging from the “Soulja Boy Dance” to “Walk it Out.”
“Time for me to go. I love all ya’ll … I got ya’ll a little too crunk,” D-Roc said as he strutted off the stage for the finish.